Keep on singing...
Most of the great bands from the 1970’s Irish Folk Revival have gone, leaving us with a sense of loss for Woodstock - like weekends centred around huge marquees and smoke filled bars in unremarkable rural towns.
We are left with only digitally re-mastered discs to remind us of past musical excellence and sleepless nights where audiences and musicians went head to head matching stamina and passion for the music.
Why then have The Sands Family survived into the 21st century? How is it that this band of siblings are still performing to rapt audiences across the world? The answer can be found just a few minutes into their gig.
Their songs strike a chord with their audiences, the wit and humour of the stories and jokes are infectious. The rapport is intimate and immediate.
For these four talented musicians and gifted writers are also highly skilled entertainers.
So much so that the polish and professionalism of their performance only becomes apparent later, when the audience emerges from the cocoon and realises they have been participants in, rather than observers of, a unique cultural experience.
They have been transported from concert hall to warm cosy kitchen by these four musicians’ warmth, their love of music and their obvious joy at entertaining.
And because they lead separate lives which often involves long solo tours, when they do get together as The Sands Family, Anne, Ben, Colum and Tommy enjoy the experience just as much as their guests.